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India’s selectors choose experience over promise while picking squad against West Indies

India's selections for the upcoming ODIs and T20Is against West Indies suggest experienced campaigners are being given a chance to reclaim or consolidate their spots. Some youngsters, who are in fine form in domestic cricket, will need to wait.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: November 22, 2019 11:35:39 am
Virat Kohli will return to India’s limited-overs squad in the series vs West Indies. The regular skipper had been rested for the recent series against Bangladesh. (File Photo/IANS)

The India squads for the upcoming ODIs and T20Is against West Indies were announced on Thursday. A three-match T20I series will begin from December 6, followed by a three-match ODI series.

As seen from the squads, India will be fielding a full-strength team, with some experienced campaigners being given a chance to reclaim their places in the scheme of things. The recent limited-overs series against Bangladesh had seen some big names – like skipper Virat Kohli – being rested. There was speculation that Rohit Sharma would be rested against West Indies, but he will be part of both the series.

Long Rope for Dhawan, Pant

Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant – both Delhi cricketers and both matchwinners on their day – are both suffering bad patches but both have been included in both squads. Dhawan, whose scores in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 matches have been 0, 9 off 6 balls, 19 off 18 balls, 35 off 33 balls and 24 off 22 balls, has kept out the likes of Mayank Agarwal. Also breathing down Dhawan’s back are a bunch of young openers  – Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal and the returning Prithvi Shaw.

Also Read | Shikhar Dhawan spreads cheer in hospital after injury

Pant, who has copped a lot of criticism in recent matches, has also been picked in both sides, while Sanju Samson has been dropped from the squad which was named against Bangladesh.

Sundar, Chahar, Pandey, Iyer make mark

Since the ODI World Cup earlier this year, four players can be said to have made deserved claims to the India XI. While Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer have filled the middle order lacuna, Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar have impressed with their accurate bowling.

Pandey, Iyer and Chahar have done enough to get call-ups to both the ODI and the T20I squads. Sundar, whose economical bowling and lower-order batting were handy against Bangladesh, has been picked in the T20I squad.

Krunal, Samson, R Chahar, Khaleel, Shardul, Saini dropped

Six players are notably absent from the squads which took on Bangladesh – Krunal Pandya, Sanju Samson, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur. Krunal Pandya’s omission suggests that Sundar has beaten him to the spot of the all-rounder spin bowler for now. Of course, Ravindra Jadeja has also been recalled to the T20I squad and so Sundar may have to play the role of the back-up option for now.

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Rahul Chahar has also made way, with Kuldeep Yadav making a T20I comeback. Sanju Samson, who did not get an opportunity to make a mark against Bangladesh, has also made way for the returning Virat Kohli. Seamers Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur have also been dropped.

Experienced campaigners return

Mohammed Shami, who last played a T20I in July 2017, has been named in both the squads, suggesting that the speed merchant is being given a chance to stake his claim to a berth for the World T20 next year. Along with the fully fit Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has also returned, and Deepak Chahar, Shami will form the pace trio in both the ODI and T20I squads.

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Kedar Jadhav, 34, was also named in the ODI squad. With Dinesh Karthik in fine form in domestic cricket, and many of India’s young colts firing all cannons, the inclusion of Jadhav – who has crossed the score of 30 only twice in 8 matches in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – has left some fans surprised.

Dube picked in ODIs

Shivam Dube could be in line to make his ODI debut after being picked in both the squads announced on Thursday. Rising up to the opportunity that had presented itself to him in the absence of the injured Hardik Pandya in the T20Is vs Bangladesh, Dube had changed the complexion of the match with the ball in the 3rd T20I of the series. He has been rewarded for that with an ODI call-up. It is unlikely that Pandya and Dube will ever be included in the same XI, even when the World T20 is hosted in seam-friendly Australia next year, but an abundance of seam-bowling all-rounder resources will only provide a happy problem to the selectors.

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